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97 Wairau Road
Ph: +64 9 444 7698
We were very proud to recently receive the shop award from PADI Asia Pacific in recognition of "Outstanding Contribution to the Diving Industry".
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Malcolm Kidd - MD Dive Centre Ltd.
At the same time Jen also presented Matt Shortall, Dive Centre's long serving Instructor with the "Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training Award" due to his consistent excellent work and issuing almost 200 certifications last year!
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Matthew Shortall - Dive Centre Ltd Master Instructor.
We also became New Zealand's first PADI Tec Rec Training Centre! Offering a wide range of Technical, Deep, Mixed Gas and Solo Dive courses - Phone Matt Shortall for more info on 09 444 7698 now!
Go deeper and longer than you ever have before!
Read the trip report below!
Galapagos Trip Report: Once in a Lifetime Dive Trip!
Text & Images by Malcolm & Barbara Kidd
The two days flying and sitting around airports with barely any sleep are forgotten...
The earthquake we experienced in the Santiago Airport is but a distant memory…
The 17 hour crossing on our liveaboard dive boat from the main island to get here is not even in my mind...
I’m sitting just 14m underwater on a shelf on the southern side of Wolf Island in the Galapagos looking at something I’ve waited my whole life to see... schooling Hammerheads... not just a few... hundreds!
Apart from the hundreds of Hammerhead’s parading in front of us, there are curious Galapagos sharks (looking more intimidating than the hammerheads), schools of the biggest eagle rays we’ve ever seen circling so close we could touch them, cruising turtles, and so many fish that they photo bomb the photos we’re trying to take of the sharks. This really is a diver’s dream and enough to make even decades-experienced divers beam with joy and wax lyrical about all they saw once back on board the boat.I eventually stop taking pictures on my new camera system, stop shooting video through the GoPro attached on top, and I just let myself take it all in... I’m underwater in the Galapagos Islands and they’re here! It was the start of an amazing 8 days of diving and land tours that we’d planned for almost two years and saved for just as long.
Galapagos isn’t easy – it’s one of the hardest dive sights to get to, and the conditions are not perfect flat calm diving like your normal tropical destinations. But all that is forgotten when you hit the water – and for a kiwi diver it feels familiar and even looks similar to many Hauraki Gulf Islands both above and below the water (apart from the inhabitants!)
The reason it’s such good diving is that there are seven different oceanic currents that hit the Galapagos, but the main one is the largest upwelling system in the world, called the “Humboldt” cold water current. This is the most productive on earth with almost 20% of all fish caught on the planet bathed by its flow! This, combined with warm tropical currents, is why there’s so much life here and why we have to be prepared for temperature ranges of 14 – 25 degrees underwater!
We visit an island to see Land Iguana’s and are amazed at how close we can get without startling them – great pictures are almost embarrassingly easy! Sea Lions lie ignoring you on the sand while you take pictures of “Blue Footed Boobies” (yes, that is their real name!) performing mating rituals and making nests and tending to eggs while Frigate birds with huge red waddles try and attract mates in front of beaming people glued to their cameras! We look out to sea and watch acres of dolphin leap and play in the water surrounding the island – this place is just so full of life you don’t know where to look or point the camera!
Then we’re back to the main boat to travel another 6-7 hours north to Darwin Island and more importantly Darwin’s Arch. For me, this is the focus of the trip – it can make or break the whole two weeks if they’re not there!
I shouldn’t have worried... 4 minutes into the first dive – the guide suddenly frantically signals and points before disappearing as fast as he can into the blue. We follow, kicking as fast as we can – all scared we won’t see her... But there she is – a 15m pregnant Whale Shark – she’s huge (even for a Whale Shark!). And we get closer than I thought we would – I get so close I’m being pulled along in her slipstream, and I can slow my kicking right down and glide with her like I’m a remora. One of the coolest moments I’ve ever had underwater!
I look to my buddies and they’re all having a blast, I look to the huge schools of big eye Trevalley, the Hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks in the distance, the Turtle posing for pictures, and the millions of other fish that surround us all at once and think... This is what diving is all about!
We end up seeing a total of 14 Whale Sharks during our dives at Darwin’s Arch and on the last dive – like most trip organisers before me – I have a quiet sigh of relief that it’s all been so amazing... then I turn back to my camera before I miss the next shot. You can never have too many Whale Shark pictures!
We're back from the Galapagos Islands now and it was the best dive trip we've ever done! There is something we got wrong though... “Once in a Lifetime” isn’t correct - we are so going back!
Dive Centre's Advanced Course allows you to sample some of those action-packed underwater activities that you have always been interested in! You will have a great weekend away in the Bay of Islands, where you can get additional diving experience under the supervision of one of our professional Diving Instructors. Whether you have just completed your Open Water Course or have been diving for years, you'll enhance dive skills, meet new buddies and gain confidence as you explore various adventure dives.
No! The course has been designed to take place where you want it to - out diving! You will have one orientation session watching videos on the types of dives you'll do on the weekend, and running through logistics, but no big theory sessions or exams. The Adventures in Diving manual covers all the theory you need. Just a brief review with your instructor and the rest of the weekend is spent diving!
If it has been some time since your last dive we recommend a scuba review session before joining this course.
The Dive Centre Advanced Course costs $699 and includes the PADI Advanced Diver Manual with Data Carrier slate, PADI Certification, Instructor Fees, all charter boat fees for all dives, hire cylinders, air fills, as well as your accommodation for Friday and Saturday nights and includes meals as well! The program also includes any Scuba Equipment you need for the course. However, you will need to supply a torch and light stick for your night dive. (We have great discounts on torches instore).
Bring them along! For only $349 they can join you on a fantastic weekend in the Bay of Islands! This includes charter boat fees for dives Saturday & Sunday, as well as accommodation for Friday and Saturday nights and includes meals as well! ** Please note they must be "Advanced Open Water certified" or equivalent to join the trip as a certified diver.
If you have completed a Dive Medical within the last twelve months, all we need is a copy of the completed form. If it has been more than twelve months you need to complete a new Medical questionaire. Dive Centre Ltd_Medical_Form (137K)
Everyone doing a dive course needs to complete a medical questionaire and we recommend doing that before booking onto the course!
If the answer to any question is yes, then you have to get it signed off by a Doctor. (If if the answer to all questions is 'No", you don't need to go to the Doctor at all - You can just sign the completed form and hand it in to us at the start of your course). If you need to, you can go to your normal family Doctor, but if you have any issues like a history of Asthma, Heart Condition, Insulin dependent diabetes, major ear or sinus problems, you should go to a Doctor with "training in fitness for diving medical assessments". A list of these Doctors is on the Introduction page of "Get into Diving".
Just choose a date from the schedule and with a $150 deposit, you will receive your PADI "Advanced Open Water" Manual and you can start your next dive adventure right now! Phone us on (09) 444 7698 or email us now, and Come alive, learn to dive with Dive Centre!
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 17 - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 21, Sun 22 January - Bay of Islands - Full
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 21 - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 25, Sun 26 February - Bay of Islands - Full
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 28 March - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 1 April, Sun 2 - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) THURS 27 - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 29, Sun 30 April - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 23 - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 27, Sun 28 May - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 10 October - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 14, Sun 15 October - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 21 November - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 25, Sun 26 - Bay of Islands
Please phone us on (09) 444 7698, or email us now, for availablility and confirmation of course dates.